I wanted to write just a few thoughts of reflection after my return home. It is easy to let the memory of things and the things which impact you fade very quickly. I can hardly believe it’s been a week since I left KL! It seems like no time at all. Here are a few thoughts
I loved the whole trip. I count it as a real privilege to have had the chance to go and enjoy the beauty of a country like Malaysia, to meet the wonderful people I met and to witness first hand what God is doing in that part of the world. For me, a big part of the trip was to spend some time with Ken (my father-in-law) and to enjoy and learn from his wonderful ministry. I was delighted when he agreed to let me go with him and the trip more than fulfilled my hopes and expectations. There are many things which I have learnt. Here are just a few (in no order of priority):
I saw God’s sovereign hand at work in both small and large ways. When I arrived in KL to meet Ken & Eva at the hotel they told me that, for the first time, their contact who’d normally arrange the meetings for Ken had not arranged anything. We had 3 more days at the conference and then the rest of the visit was a complete unknown! Ken managed to track down an old friend who knew another old friend who happened to live in in KL. This friend was Pastor Alan Tan with whom we eventually stayed and who organised a total of nearly 30 speaking engagements for us in the two weeks that followed. Alan was due to be away on an annual conference that week but had decided not to go (for the first time in years) so he could be in the office for some business. If he hadn’t have been there we wouldn’t have ended up doing what we did. That’s the small way I saw God’s sovereign hand at work. In a much bigger way I saw the ministry amongst migrant workers in Malaysia. Workers from Vietnam, Myanmar, Indonesia and other countries pour in to Malaysia each year to find work. Often these countries are closed to missionaries. But the church in Malaysia was both caring for and witnessing to the migrant workers. As a result 10s of thousands have become Christians over the last few years and are going back home many to plant churches, all over parts of SE Asia which are closed to missionaries! God’s kingdom is growing and growing.
I witnessed a deep commitment to the Christian faith by young and old Christians in Malaysia. Even though it is a muslim country (and there were strong signs that this was the case), and there is some opposition to the gospel (bibles being confiscated by the authorities and only released with the stamp ‘not for muslims’ on it, and a lack of permission to build churches) the church is still flourishing. I saw business men and women meeting early to pray and praise God on a daily basis. I went to prayer meetings where they prayed for the UK and its spiritual life. And there was a deep hunger for the Word of God and a desire to share the gospel with all people.
Another thing was the working and praying together of local churches. The ministry to the migrant workers and the morning prayer meetings for business men and women were both interdenominational. The migrant workers ministry involved some 18 different churches across KL from all denominations and similarly the prayer meetings, and full gospel business men’s meetings, brought men and women together from many different churches to pray and see God at work.
I also saw a few great Christian men and women at work. I saw business men and women who were bold in sharing their faith in the workplace. Pastor Alan was great fun to be with but also to see his ministry was wonderful. How the church(es) he has been leading have flourished and grown over the last decade and to visit a small church in the NE of the country that nearly closed but is now thriving under his (once a week visits) ministry was just great. And I loved Ken’s preaching ministry and his pastoral care for people as we travelled (not to mentions his constant stream of jokes). One of the Indian pastors commented at the end of the conference about Ken’s humility and his great teaching. I wholeheartedly agree and loved every talk I heard. I was both challenged and encouraged by all of this and feel the Lord did some significant work in me during these 2 weeks too!
I could go on, but that will have to do for the moment. It has spurred me on to seek God’s work in my life and in the community in which I live. I realise just how fortunate I have been to take this trip and I want to make the most of what I have learned and to grow as a result of it. I am also very thankful to St Chads for letting me go for two weeks and particularly to my wonderful Jo and Hannah & Charlotte.